Ye­men war death toll sur­passes 7,000

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Ye­men’s 20-month war has killed more than 7,000 peo­ple and wounded nearly 37,000, the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion said, as the UN en­voy voiced alarm over the wors­en­ing hu­man­i­tar­ian sit­u­a­tion. “More than 7,070 peo­ple have been killed and over 36,818 in­jured” as of Oc­to­ber 25, the WHO said in a state­ment. An­other 21 mil­lion peo­ple are in need of ur­gent health ser­vices, the UN health agency said. Speak­ing to re­porters at the air­port of the rebel-held cap­i­tal Sanaa on Mon­day, UN en­voy Is­mail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said that the sit­u­a­tion can­not con­tinue.

“Peo­ple are dy­ing... the in­fra­struc­ture is fall­ing apart... and the econ­omy is on the brink of abyss,” he said. Ye­men has been rocked by fight­ing be­tween Iran-backed rebels and gov­ern­ment forces sup­ported by a Saudi-led coali­tion since March 2015, months af­ter the in­sur­gents seized Sanaa and ad­vanced across the coun­try. The UN en­voy urged the coali­tion con­trol­ling Ye­men’s airspace to al­low com­mer­cial flights into and out of Sanaa’s in­ter­na­tional air­port to evac­u­ate the wounded.

The coali­tion ar­gues that the rebels would use the air­port, com­pletely un­der their con­trol, to trans­port weapons. In­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions have also warned in re­cent weeks of a spread of dis­ease and grow­ing mal­nu­tri­tion rates in the coun­try. The WHO said 2.1 mil­lion peo­ple have been in­ter­nally dis­placed by the con­flict. More than half of all health fa­cil­i­ties across the coun­try have been shut or are func­tion­ing only par­tially amid “crit­i­cal short­ages” in doc­tors, it said.

Ould Cheikh Ahmed warned of a “very dan­ger­ous” health sit­u­a­tion with an es­ti­mated 2,241 sus­pected cholera cases. The UN has con­firmed 71 cases of the dis­ease, which is trans­mit­ted through con­tam­i­nated drink­ing wa­ter and causes acute di­ar­rhoea. At­tempts by the UN en­voy to con­vince the war­ring par­ties to com­mit to a cease­fire and re­sume peace talks have failed Ould Cheikh Ahmed urged the ri­vals to “make some con­ces­sions” and de­fended a roadmap for peace he put for­ward last month.

The me­di­a­tor, who had been dis­cussing his pro­posal with the rebels since Thurs­day, was headed to Riyadh to meet Pres­i­dent Abedrabbo Man­sour Hadi. The con­tents of the roadmap have not been made pub­lic. But sources say it calls for agree­ment on nam­ing a new vice pres­i­dent af­ter the rebels with­draw from Sanaa and other cities and hand over heavy weapons to a third party. Hadi would then trans­fer power to the vice pres­i­dent who would ap­point a new prime min­is­ter to form a gov­ern­ment in which the north and south of Ye­men would have equal rep­re­sen­ta­tion.


SANAA: A Ye­meni doc­tor makes an in­jec­tion to a baby at a Kuwaiti hospi­tal in the Ye­meni cap­i­tal Sanaa. One and a half mil­lion chil­dren suf­fer from mal­nu­tri­tion, in­clud­ing 370,000 for whom it is so se­vere it weak­ens their im­mune sys­tem, the UN chil­dren’s agency says.

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